Most of our children are destined for careers that currently do not exist. The child of today will tomorrow have 40 different jobs across 10 career paths and will live in a faster-paced, online, technology-led global world.
How can we prepare them for the ride ahead? What skills would they need in an uncertain future? How will they keep pace with rapid change?
With computers likely to replace humans across a range of jobs and sectors, it has become increasingly obvious in recent years that we cannot limit our children’s education to the academic realm. High achievement in subjects like mathematics and science will not guarantee the same career opportunities it once did.
Instead, they will need universal, timeless skills. Talents and tendencies that promote flexibility, adaptiveness and problem-solving are more likely to stand them in good career stead.
They need to learn resilience and effective communication.
Parents recognise the education system doesn’t give their kids everything they need. This fact is the reason the in-school Club Kidpreneur program has been so successful over the past seven years.
Allowing children to tap into their own imagination and creativity to come up with an entrepreneurial idea and develop a business is one of the most powerful ways we can learn life skills like initiative and resourcefulness.
We also learn the vital lesson of failure. By failing, we develop resilience. We learn how to get up and try again and that is one of the most fundamental skills for a successful life.
More than 12,000 young Australians have completed the Club Kidpreneur program since 2010. They have come up with entrepreneurial ideas, developed business plans, designed and developed products and sold their goods at market days. Children in years 4, 5 and 6 have created successful businesses from a diverse range of products including pet cravats, computer games and fishing lures.
Students work in teams and, at end of the program, each team submits a video about their business and its products for review by a panel of real life entrepreneurs.
I’m always incredibly proud when I see the ingenuity, commitment and entrepreneurial efforts of the kids, but nothing beats the look of satisfaction and achievement on their own faces. Watching Ty, Shawn and Kaios from Coopernook Primary School explain their recycled fishing lure business not only proves that kids can be entrepreneurial – but that they thrive in doing so.
Three of just 51 students at the small school in mid-North New South Wales, these Coopernook boys won last year’s Club Kidpreneur challenge and spent a day in Melbourne learning behind-the-scenes business tips and tricks at Moose Toys offices in Melbourne. Moose Toys is the fifth largest toy manufacturer in the United States.
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Cap Lures, as their products are called, are already sold in several retail outlets in NSW but, not content to leave things there, the intrepid trio is keen to catch a bigger piece of the $4 billion sport and camping market. Recently, they launched a secret weapon - a wrist-hold fishing reel (patent pending).
I understand the boys have plenty of orders on the hook already.
More than 600 schools across the country have embraced the Club Kidpreneur program with dedicated, motivated teachers helping kids reach their entrepreneurial potential. But schools can’t do all the heavy lifting. If we want the next generation to succeed, parents need to share the load.
Here are a few simple skills you can help your child develop:
1. Initiative: Let kids do it. If they come to you with a problem, talk them through possible solutions but don’t do it for them.
2. Resilience: Let your children fail so they can develop resilience. Resilient kids are problem solvers.
3. Resourcefulness: Teach children to be inventive. They may not have the answer straight away but there’s lots of places to look for it.
4. Creativity: Give your kids the opportunity to show off their creative flare, whether that’s in art, music, science, maths or social situations. Let them explore their ideas freely.
5. Relationships: Help your child develop good interpersonal skills like team work and communication. People with these skills make strong leaders.
Creel Price is a rare mix of entrepreneur, educator, high-octane adventurer and social change agent. He founded the Club Kidpreneur Foundation to foster entrepreneurial skills in primary-aged children, you find out more at www.creelprice.com.